1) Breastfeed. Studies show that at the age of six children who were breastfed for six months or more score an average of 6 points higher on IQ tests than formula fed children. And breast milk is FREE. Formula costs a family on low income a great deal of money…and it limits your child’s mental capabilities.
2) Talk. From about 26 weeks a foetus can hear in the womb. Studies have also shown that children who were talked to in the womb and as babies have better verbal skills. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to give your child a running commentary on your activities. “We need to give you a bath now. Let’s take your little pink shirt off. Out come your arms. Now let’s pull it over your head.” I have gotten a few strange looks on the Tube of course, but my daughter’s intelligence is more than worth it.
3) Let them explore. We have all heard the expression…kids will be kids. But often one of a baby’s first words is “No,” because they hear it so often. Clearly some things like sticking things in electrical outlets must be “No,” but other things can be made safe for your child. For instance, our lower kitchen cabinets are always child proof. We keep the plastic ware and canned foods in them. It is a skill that I learned from my great-grandmother. Even as an adult, I fondly remember sitting on her kitchen floor surrounded by cans of food. I would build towers. I would play store. Those cans were wonderful FREE toys…and it allowed me as a child to safely explore the adult world. As parents/carers our job is to create a safe world in which to allow our children to explore…and learn.
4) Test their limits. We never learn what we are capable of accomplishing if we are not allowed to try. It is natural for parents/carers to want to protect their children, but sometimes by watchful waiting we can allow them to develop a sense of accomplishment. My daughter could ‘climb’ the stairs before she walked. We of course had safety gates at the top and the bottom so that she never could attempt this new skill without the watchful eye of an adult, but we often would put her down at the bottom and allow her to crawl them. We were only a step or two behind of course should something go wrong. She has taken that same determination into other tasks as well…tackling the jungle gym at the ripe old age of two.
5) Expand their horizons. In most large UK and US cities there is an abundance of exciting and educational activities for young children. Living in London, we are lucky that our museums are FREE. But even when we lived in the US, we found that by purchasing annual memberships to the local zoos and museums we could provide the relatively cheap entertainment for the whole family. The Los Angeles Zoo for instance offered a family membership for around $50 that admits 2 adults and up to 4 children under 18. Most US attractions have similar offers. If even this paltry amount is too much for your tight budget, we have asked for memberships as gifts from grandparents.
6) Read. You can never begin reading too soon…even before birth your child can hear you. As small babies, brightly coloured cardboard books that they can touch and even chew are wonderful. Older babies and toddlers enjoy books with flaps or texture which they can touch and explore for themselves. My 2 year old loves to ‘read’ her picture books to Mummy now. And don’t forget the value of your child seeing you read. Our daughter often demands her own ‘paper’ on Saturday morning as she eats breakfast and reads along side Daddy. If she sees me reading on the couch, she often brings an arm load of her own books for me to read to her.
7) Listen and learn. Sometimes as parents we forget that our children have a great deal to teach us as well. Their open and loving attitude has much to teach adults, who can so easily get caught up in inconsequential tasks. One of my fondest memories was the sheer joy of jumping in a puddle with my daughter. To enjoy such priceless moments we must take the time to listen to our children with our hearts as well as our ears. We must also free ourselves from fears and convention to realise just how much we have to learn from these little treasures.
Terri O’Neale is the mother of six; ranging in age from 3 to 22. She has been both a working and stay-at-home mother at various times in her life. She was also a single mother for almost five years, before re-marrying the love of her life at the age of forty. Obviously, she has a life-time of training in raising a family on a tight budget. In addition to these real life experiences, she possesses a bachelors degree in health education and a minored in environmental management in her masters programme.
Terri feels strongly that this is one of the most challenging times in history for the family, but she also believes that families with the will and resolve to address the pressing issues of saving money, becoming greener, leading healthier lifestyles and spending more time with one another can endure these challenging times and come out victorious in the end.
Quick service restaurants nationwide are doing more business than ever. Running a successful quick service chain or location still requires being eager to find ways to improve the experience for diners.
The point of sale (POS) system a restaurant chooses to use will inevitably impact its capabilities in a number of important ways. Choosing the right restaurant quick service pos technology will always make it easier to compete.
A POS Platform That Supports Quick Service in Every Possible Way
There are plenty of relatively simple POS products that might seem appropriate to the quick service model. In practice, though, systems that include more advanced functionality will often prove their worth in ways that are difficult to ignore. Some of the kinds of features that distinguish the best POS offerings from the rest today include:
- Offline functionality. Being connected at all times has come to seem like the norm to many, but relying upon it can cost a restaurant business. A POS system that is able to keep functioning even when connectivity is unavailable or unreliable is one that will allow an establishment to keep racking up sales. There are a variety of different ways to enable offline service for a POS terminal and local network, any of which will always be preferable to a lack of functionality.
- Multiple location support. Many quick service restaurants today are part of larger chains, and being able to keep the individual units connected will almost always pay off. A POS system where updates can be propagated to various locations as desired can cut down on busywork and make errors a lot less likely. In some cases, a POS platform will allow users to customize information for particular locations while keeping other details in sync.
- Menu customization. Focusing on quick service does not need to mean sticking to restrictive, unimaginative menus. The best POS systems today make it easy to customize particular dishes and entire menus so as to attract more business.
Technology That Makes the Quick Service Business Easier
Features like these and others will help almost any quick service restaurant perform at a higher level. Obtaining a POS system that goes beyond the basics can make the challenging work of providing quick, top quality food service a lot easier.